Dr. Clare Muhoro Receives Award for Public Service

Muhoro 2

Photo L-to-R (Chancellor Robert Caret, Dr. Clare Muhoro, Towson University President Kim Schatzel, Board of Regents Chair James Brady)

Dr. Clare Muhoro (MTAWA Board member) was the recipient of the 2018 University System of Maryland’s Board of Regents’ Award for Public Service. The awards are the highest honor presented by the Board to exemplary faculty members. The awards honor excellence in the following four categories: teaching; research, scholarship and creative activity; public service; and mentoring. Institutional faculty nominating committees make recommendations to the institutional presidents, who review nominations and supporting material and forward recommendations to USM Chancellor Robert L. Caret. The Regents Faculty Review Committee makes the final recommendations. Dr. Muhoro received the award for her work on enhancing science and technology in developing countries. Dr. Muhoro works extensively with the United States Agency for International Development and has traveled to Africa and Asia in hands-on efforts to support U.S. programs and policies regarding scientific collaboration as a tool to promote development. She also served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow in diplomacy, security, and development. She has organized and/or moderated numerous programs and symposia around the world. She balances these public service obligations with a full-time teaching, research and administrative load within the Department of Chemistry at Towson University.

Website link: https://www.usmd.edu/newsroom/news/1806


Meet Our Mentors: Dr. Betsy Gekonge

Dr. Betsy Gekonge
Dr. Betsy Gekonge was born and raised in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya in East Africa.  She initially came to the United States to pursue a college education (Hamilton College, Clinton NY and Pennsylvania State University, University Park PA) and has since established a robust career working as a Clinical Scientist at Pfizer, Inc where she is contributing to the development of novel vaccines to help prevent pneumococcal disease.  Prior to her current role, Betsy spent several years working in the Montaner Laboratory at the Wistar Institute working to understand the response of a subset of immune cells (monocytes/macrophages) to HIV-1 infection, and three years working in antiviral drug development at Merck & Co Inc. Betsy joined MTAWA in 2016 as a mentor, and with the support and guidance of MTAWA sistren established an incredible mentor-mentee relationship (now friendship) with her mentee who in the fall semester of 2017 successfully enrolled in the Department of Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology at the University of California, Riverside. When not busy poring over clinical documents, Betsy enjoys volunteering to various causes, hiking and traveling with her children.



Meet Our Mentors: Dr Nomali Ngobese


Dr Nomali Ngobese

Dr Nomali Ngobese is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Zululand, in South Africa. She is an Applied Plant Scientist with a specialization in Food Processing. She joined MTAWA in 2016, while still a Ph.D. student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and was mentored through the network. She graduated in April 2017 and, thereafter, did her first postdoctoral research at the South African Agricultural Research Council. As part of the Agricultural Research Council, Nomali worked towards sourcing and characterizing starch from the seeds of wild mango (a non-conventional source). Her current research focuses on the incorporation of African leafy vegetables on flour-based staple foods, to improve their nutritional value, for the alleviation of malnutrition challenges in Africa.



Dr. Margaret Okomo-Adhiambo on Women in Bioinformatics Panel

MTAWA member Dr. Margaret Okomo-Adhiambo recently served on a “Women in Bioinformatics” expert panel at the 8th ACM Conference on Bioinformatics, Computational Biology, and Health Informatics, held in Boston, MA. The panel discussions were aimed at encouraging women’s participation in bioinformatics, and science in general, especially minority women of color.